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How to Be Successful at Networking

Wednesday, October 25, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Mckenna Capen
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How to Be Successful at Networking


The thought of networking is often perceived as intimidating and carries a negative stigma, but it shouldn’t be! It can be as simple as having a conversation with someone else at any time. It doesn’t have to be a scary and daunting task, especially when you’re at large trade shows and events. We’ve compiled a list of 5 techniques to show you how to become successful at building your own network!

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1. Develop the Characteristics

Developing the mentality of Giving vs. Getting is a great tip for boosting your confidence in networking. Most people go into a networking opportunity with the mindset of gaining something and often leave disappointed when they feel they didn’t gain enough. If you want to be one of those who leave on a high, positive note, you should attend with one goal in mind, “How can I help someone else” rather than “What’s in it for me?” Ivan Misner, Founder and Chairman of Business Network International, gathered roughly 3,400 responses from business professionals and assembled some of the top desirable characteristics of great networking:

2. Begin Sooner Rather than Later

Networking is always a good idea, no matter where you are in your individual careers. Have a successful job, in school, searching for a job, or wanting to switch careers? Networking can benefit you. It gives you the opportunity to further your connections, rekindle old ones, or meet new people. In the long run, taking advantage of networking opportunities will pay off and it can help you find a job or you may have gift of linking two of your contacts together.

3. Set a Goal

Having goals is important- it allows you to hold yourself accountable, strive for better, and provides direction. When entering an event, know what you want to get out of it. Do you know of a certain person you want to meet? Chase after that goal. But it’s okay if you don’t have a specific goal. You can play a little game with yourself to achieve goals like this:

  • Meet a certain amount of people
  • Meet everyone wearing a certain color
  • Get a business card in a field different than your current job

It is also important to know why you are there. Business News Daily posted an article with 12 Tips for a Winning Elevator Pitch, which is a great article to perfect your pitch. Have your elevator pitch ready but also be prepared to go off script and be personable. Not everyone wants to talk business when at a networking event, it is not work. People are ready to socialize and have fun, so take advantage of that opportunity.

4. Be Persistent, Be Present
Get business cards and follow up with the connections you made, quite soon after the event. It is a general rule of thumb to follow up 24-48 hours after the event. Networking is an ongoing process that takes time to perfect. Your strongest connections with the highest potential should be in your mind several times throughout the year. It is recommended to connect with them 3-4 times a year, rather than the hundreds of other contacts you may have that will only require contact once a year.

5. Believe in the Power of Networking

It is crucial to believe that the work you are putting into networking is valuable for your career. Keep in mind why you are there and be optimistic for the possibilities that lie ahead of you. Business Insider posted a key takeaway from networking in their article, How to Network Like a Pro, stating, make sure you are “Cultivating both the depth and width of your network” and Misner stated, “It’s not just about who you know – it’s about how well you know them.” Believe in the power of networking.

Thank you for reading these helpful tips to become successful at networking! I’m confident that you are now ready to take on the next opportunity to network. Hopefully you are excited to meet new people and set yourself up for success. Check out our blog post on leadership if you want more information honing in on your capabilities and becoming successful!

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